Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My new mower

My wife Caryn and I have been homeowners for a little while. Back at our first house, we had a self-propelled gas mower, which was loud and dirty but did the job. When we moved out, I sold that mower to my dad (who owns, incidentally, a startling number of things that run on internal combustion engines: two cars, two motorcycles, a mower for his house, a mower for the cabin, a gas weedwhacker, a chainsaw, a generator, a snowblower, two boat motors, etc.).

At our present location, we decided to try the old-fashioned push mower. It sounded like a good idea, we being inclined to that which is quieter and cleaner. But it takes quite a lot of effort to mow our smallish suburban lot, especially with the slope at the edge of our back yard. And in the heat of August, I just couldn't do it. Like lots of people with MS, my symptoms get worse when my body gets overheated. As a result, Caryn became our family's designated mower. Which was problematic, because it turned out that I cared more about the appearance of our lawn than she did. Which is not to say that I am obsessed with it (in my view). But the thing is that the push mower never produced a manicured lawn to begin with, and when the grass got too long, the mower just wouldn't cut it at all, just bend it over. So, something to fight about.

In the interest of family harmony, this spring, I sprang for an electric mower, which is sorta quiet, and pretty damn clean, and actually cuts grass. This mower, though, requires that you remain attached to the grib while mowing, which is clumsy, even though the mower's handle flips over so that you can keep the cord dangling on the side you're mowing away from. Worse, apparently I now lack the stamina to do the whole back yard. About 80% of the way through, I was unable to walk further, notwithstanding the fact that a lawn mower bears some resemblance to my grandmother's walker.

Bummer. Family harmony remains in jeopardy. The back yard's not done, and this morning, I'm sore and tired. Which makes me cranky. Which is a further threat to family harmony.

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